Laurel Street Blog

Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category

Shirley, aka EdenMaker

Shirley, aka ""EdenMaker""

Apparently I’ve been missing a wonderful garden designer named Shirley Bovshow! I just stumbled across a stunning before & after post on her blog EdenMakers for often under-utilized spaces,  narrow side yards.

I’ve been longing to have a shady, peaceful walk down the fenced side of the house since the day we moved in. I imagine  lots of ferns, hostas, ivy, some climbing hydrangea… all surrounding a tidy path of flagstones. I’m wanting a little water feature perhaps, plus low landscape lighting.

This would be my dog-free garden where I could walk at night and not have to worry about, well, the fact that dogs had been in there. You know, doing that thing that dogs do. I love to walk around when I’m brainstorming or just have something on my mind. My long side yard has some potential… but right now, it’s a wreck!

The previous owners made an unfortunate choice for the area. Apparently frustrated by weeding and maintenance, they had a truckload of red, volcanic landscape rock ( <- yes, it’s actually that color) dumped and spread over landscape cloth along the entire length of the house. It’s still there. I’ve been waiting for inspiration to strike before I hauled it all off, one wheelbarrow load at a time.

I think I found some inspiration today with this post from the EdenMakers blog. Take a look at these two pics, but do follow through to her site and enjoy the entire post. It’s a beautiful garden.

The Before Shot

The Before Shot

Wow - what an after shot.

Wow - what an after shot.

I say ‘spy photos’ because I surreptitiously took these shots with my iPhone while shopping over at The Garden Gates in Old Metairie this weekend. I’m totally sure they would’ve let me take photos of whatever I wanted for the blog, but I just felt like being sneaky about it. :-)

I mentioned the Garden Gates in another post and remarked about how well put together it is for a garden center, so I thought I’d just toss these photos up on the blog as inspiration shots.

Front Gate - I love the scooter and those great urns on the columns.

Front Gate - I love the scooter and those great big baskets of while petunias up on the columns.

Check out those great yellow 'strawberry' planting urns to the left of this shot of the store's 'back porch.' I like the curving steps and that cute pick patio set in the back of the shot!

Check out those great yellow urns to the left of this shot of the store's 'back porch.' I like the curving steps and that cute pink patio set in the back of the shot!

In the garden room where they sell plants that love sun, they have built these really fantastic arbors for displaying the plants. Check out those little 'upside down' pots hanging underneath the arbors - cute, but I'm not sold on the concept just yet.

In the garden room where they sell plants that love sun, they have built these really fantastic arbors for displaying the plants. Check out those little 'upside down' pots hanging underneath the arbors - cute, but I'm not sold on the concept just yet.

More arbors - I love their hanging baskets they keep up around the store.

More arbors - I love their hanging baskets they keep up around the store.

Who doesn't love an urn? Or two for that matter?

Who doesn't love an urn? Or two for that matter?

And a thoughtful playground for the kids who come with their parents. A nice touch I think. They are also holding a 'Easter Egg Hunt' for local kiddos at the garden center this weekend.

And a thoughtful playground for the kids who come with their parents. A nice touch I think. They are also holding a 'Easter Egg Hunt' for local kiddos at the garden center this weekend.

View to from the back to the main shop. You can't see much of it here, but a beautiful Live Oak shades the way.

View to from the back to the main shop. You can't see much of it here, but a giant Live Oak shades the way.

This Morning - On The Way Out The Door

Taken this morning, rushing on the way out the front door. 'Scuze my gym bag in the photo!

So this was my Sunday. Saturday was all mowing, and chopping, and bagging, and digging, and hauling. Sunday was much more fun: all shopping, and planning, and planting.

I made the rounds of my favorite garden centers around New Orleans (I was just going to buy a lemon and satsuma tree for the back yard – those have been on my list for a while). But then I found this Iceberg Climbing Rose waaaay in the back of the Perino’s (like they were hiding it from me amidst the Ajuga).

I knew I had a big empty pot by the front door which formerly contained a show-stopping magenta Bougainvillea – but I accidentally killed it when I tried to move the pot. The roots had grown out of the pot drainage hole and deep into my brick sidewalk. Bougainvillea (I have since learned!) is very senstitive to root damage. I snapped that tap root moving the pot and it completely went to pieces on me.

So Iceberg Rose goes on my garden cart… what else, what else? Needs something to grow on – hey look at these cute trellises! Trellis goes on the cart. And hey – look at these topiaries! These would look great in front of the door on the porch.

By this point, my cart is now impossible to see over. People are scurrying out of my way when they see me rolling their way.

Only one of the garden rooms at The Garden Gates

Only one of the garden rooms at The Garden Gates - This shot is from several years back. So much has changed since this photo was taken.

That was enough for me to have to explain to Richard for one store – so I proceeded down to my other favorite garden center in ‘Old Metairie’ called The Garden Gates. There are wonderful gifts to be found here and it is one of the most beautifully designed garden centers I have ever seen. I would pay money just to get in the door to look around – the design of the whole retail experience feels like an exclusive private garden.

I usually pick out my own stuff but one of the outgoing and friendly staff member called me out for looking ‘like a man on a mission’ and could he help me? He suggested mixing up some of the Lamb’s Ear I had been wanting for beneath the rose with some new varieties I hadn’t seen and even pointed up a Dwarf Cleome that would go nicely in another pot.

So I think it all came out… what do you say?

P.S. I know that this makes two rose posts in a month. I know I’m a guy. You must be thinking “Unless he thinks he’s P. Allen Smith or somebody, no man should be posting this much about roses.” I can’t help it – I’m a victim here! I don’t find them, they find me.

Ok - I'm a sucker for these

Ok - I'm a sucker for these. See the soft Lamb's Ear Below?

Dwarf Cleome. It better be dwarf!

Dwarf Cleome. It better stay dwarf! I'm suspicious.

I simply could not resist a Gypsy reference in the title, sorry!

Now on with the show. Thanks to a fortunately mild winter in New Orleans, these antique ‘Safrano’ roses have been in light bloom throughout the winter, but they’ve taken off now!

So today, for Julia at HookedOnHouses, I’m hooked on antique roses. Antique specimens are super tough and hardly prone to any disease which makes caring for them almost non-existent. Modern tea roses require lots of babying – and that’s not my style at all. We just enjoy them without the work. I’m even hesitant to pull off a few blooms to take inside because I enjoy them on the shrubs so much.

Safrano Rose Blooms

Safrano Rose Blooms - Click for the close up - It's worth it!

I'm ready, Mr. DeMille

Great color...

pink_rose

Duchess de Brabant Rose - just getting started

By the way, the definitive source for these old, hardy varieties is The AntiqueRoseEmporium.com. We ordered four specimens last year and they sent us a pink knock-out rose just as a bonus. Surprise! Their roses are also very inexpensive, beautifully packed and shipped.

Here’s what else is on my agenda this weekend – after working inside all winter, I’m looking forward to a massive yard clean-up and some early annual planting (I’ve got a soft spot for Impatiens – the first thing I ever grew). I’m going to widen this bed around the fountain so I can do a little more this year:

Back Yard Flower Bed

Back Yard Flower Bed - The grass is looking muuuch better this year.

On my weekend to-do list... geraniums for the front porch (while it's still cool)

On my weekend to-do list... geraniums for the front porch (while it's still cool)

I'm a sucker for these! Always white - I'm sooo predictable.

I'm a sucker for these! Always white - I'm sooo predictable.

Louis is loving the warm weather and cannot wait to tromp around on my new flowerbed.

Louis is loving the warm weather and cannot wait to tromp around on my new flowerbed.

Friday Morning Update: I’d like to say a special thank you to my new blogging friend Jennifer from the Newlywed Diaries who was so generous to me in her post today!  I love Jenn’s blog, it is a ‘dutiful daily read’ for me. Jennifer has wonderful taste and style – and so many great ideas – why not stop by for a visit today?


Laurel Street Blog

Nate and Louis

Well, hey there. I'm Nathan and this is the Laurel Street Blog. It's a place for talking about design, decor and DIY (with small amounts of snarkery snuck in). I'm a pretty restless guy who loves house projects and lives in a 150+ year old cottage on Laurel Street in New Orleans. Since the house always has something going on with it (or falling off of it) I'm subsequently blessed with a never-ending supply of Web content to share. Oh - and you can drop me a line anytime LaurelStreetNola@gmail.com. Enjoy!

Can I get a tweet up in here? Follow along @LaurelStreet

The Laurel Street Cottage

May 2017
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